Native Pine Progression


KHello from SC
I have a gifted collected Pine. The trunk, bark, and taper are pretty nice. I believe it has turface/ sand/ potting soil around its root ball since this spring.
This week end I plan to thin the top to bifurcating branches. Which Leeds me to my questions below…

My questions on how to progress the tree are:

  • the lower branches are week so would wiring the top of the tree redirect energy to them?
  • when would the best time to wire and would this be an exception
  • should I work on the root ball situation first? now or in spring?

I’m still working on the identification although I think it’s a “pinus Virginia” which I believe is a 2 growth Pine.

Any advice is appreciated

(Frank Corrigan) #2

Collected trees in my experience require a careful and patient progression to obtain the best results. My advice would be to be sure of the following before proceeding.

  1. The species, so the appropriate techniques can be applied at the right time for your area. It is critical to know wether you are dealing with a single flush or multiple flush pine.
  2. Condition of the root ball. I would be inclined to repot and inspect every yamadori that comes into my care as a first step. Then i would know for sure if all the original compacted soil had been removed, all dead roots removed and what time should be allowed for recovery. This i would do in the early spring just before the tree begins its growth period.
    As it is a pine be sure to use a well draining soil mix and suitable sized container for optimum root recovery.
    For now i would suggest a fall clean up of dead needles, unwanted dead branches. I would not remove any foliage at this stage with a view to maximizing the growth and root recovery next growing season.

Best of luck as you decide how to proceed. Collected trees are special opportunities to enhance the age and character with healthy foliage. Thanks for posting the picture.


Thank you for your response.
That sounds like a safe and smart approach.
I’ve asked the collector for more details.
I have a few other native pines in my sites but they will be prepped in the ground this spring.
Stay tuned


(mac4) #4

That pine doesn’t look robust enough to survive any cutting trimming or removing anything, other than dead branches and dead needles. I’d leave it alone and fertilize over the winter and next growing season. About this time next year look at it again and see if it looks any healthier. I think it is needing to grow some roots that it lost in digging up.

(Frank Corrigan) #5

One additional thought to consider. Leaving the tree in a sub optimal condition for another growing season may cause more harm rather than provide additional benefit. If possible, more information from the collector with respect to the processes that occurred prior to the change this past spring is a good idea. If the tree had been bare rooted than i would leave it for an additional year. Otherwise i would be inclined to carefully explore and correct any poor conditions you can find to set it up for the next growing season. If you would like additional information on a process that i have used successfully for yamadori feel free to drop me an email.

(Raymond Mack) #6

Keep it under cover so it doesn’t stay too wet this winter. P. Virginia should is very tough but this tree looks very weak, could be dying now. The potting soil, turface and sand is not a great mix for an unhealthy conifer.

Hope it thrives.